United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Sacramento Man Sentenced for Laundering Proceeds of Interstate Marijuana Shipment
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Docket #: 2:12-CR-0124 MCE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Keni Renta, 29, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to three years and one month in prison for structuring cash transactions from selling marijuana in order to avoid reporting requirements, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, in 2011, Renta sold marijuana interstate, obtaining the majority of his supply from California growers. Buyers, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, paid by making deposits into bank branches outside of California for accounts in Renta’s name or that he controlled. Renta directed them to “structure” their deposits by splitting them into amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid the mandatory filing of a currency transaction report. Renta and others under his direction would then withdraw the money in amounts of less than $10,000. From June 2011 through November 2011, at least $1.3 million was deposited in accounts, and at least $942,500 of that was structured.
Public Affairs Spokesman for the California Franchise Tax Board John Barrett stated: “Although this case did not involve tax charges, our agents’ financial analysis expertise greatly assisted the investigation.”
On October 11, 2012, Judge England sentenced Sacramento residents Jauwon Pierre Wilder, 28, to two years in prison, and Charles Wilson, 35, to 10 months in prison for their roles in this case. Wilson grew marijuana for Renta, and Wilder opened accounts for Renta’s customers to deposit into, and structured cash out of those accounts under Renta’s direction.
This case was the product of an investigation by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, U.S. Postal Inspections, and the IRS Financial Crimes Task Force that includes the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Sacramento Police Department, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. FTB agents led the investigation team. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Paul Hemesath prosecuted the case.